Fantasy Hockey Coach - Hockey Pool and Keeper Hockey Advice - The Press Box May 14, 2012

  • The Press Box May 14, 2012

    It is down to the final four in both the NHL and the CHL.

    In the NHL, the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils will battle for the Eastern Conference title and the Los Angeles Kings took game one of the Western Conference finals on Sunday night.

    In the CHL the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Portland Winterhawks to join London, St. Johns, and Shawinigan in the Memorial Cup Tournament.

    With the elimination of the Capitals it's time to start looking at their fantasy off-season plans. Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin will be joining Russia at the Worlds. Semin is a UFA this summer and may not be back in Washington, or the NHL for that matter. The Caps got the bad news that top prospect Evgeni Kuznetsov will remain in the KHL for another two years. The biggest decisions will come on the blue line as Mike Green, Denis Wideman, John Carlson all need new deals.No question Carlson is top priority and will see a significant raise. It is very likely Mike Green is also resigned but Wideman is a wild card. The Coaching position is the biggest decision with a fantasy impact the Caps have to make Will they stick to a defense committed system and Dale Hunter, or will they seek out a new bench boss and exploit their lethal offensive potential?

    Toronto Maple Leafs writer for Hockey Writers Lukas Hardonk takes a look at five potential free agent defensemen the Leafs should have an eye on. One name I would add should he become available is Justin Schultz. Schultz is a top prospect playing College hockey who is still unsigned by the Anaheim Ducks. Learn more about Schultz in my article, The Future of Justin Schultz The Leafs would be one of 29 teams in pursuit of Schultz if he hit the open market! However, the Leafs may have an inside edge over the rest of the league. Maple Leaf Hot Stove article Keep an Eye on Justin Schultz suggests that Gardiner and Schultz, who were defensive partners in the NCAA may wish to be reunited in the NHL.

    Nikita Filatov signed a 2-year contract with Salavat Yulaev of the KHL. If you own Filatov in any fantasy league, now would be a good time to abandon that investment.

    The OHL Writers has complied its final rankings list for the NHL draft worthy OHL players. A good read as it is full of stats.

    Follow me on Twitter: @pharling
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